Flying colours


Estimated reading time: 3 minutes


Fully kitted out and camouflaged, Eithan Giles VN of Burwood Vet in Victoria, is battle-ready when the paintballs start flying.

“I’d always wanted to give paintball a go but none of my friends were interested. A couple of years ago, I decided to bite the bullet and go by myself. I met some interesting people, made some friends, joined in on a game and really enjoyed it. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that today, eight years later, I own around $15,000 worth of paintball gear.

“Just after COVID, the regular paintball community was getting smaller and people stopped organising events. I got together with some mates and we decided to host our own days and events. Eventually, we formed Bushballers Melbourne Paintball and it’s been doing spectacularly well for the past few years. At our last event, we had local players along with players from Sydney, South Australia and Queensland. Paintball events can be big or small. We are still growing ours but have around 50 players turn out to an event.

“Our events always take place in a registered paintball venue. We wear camo gear, crawl around in the bush and protect or attack man-made fortifications. We also have an old mini-van that we drive around and shoot from. It’s great fun.

“There are different rules for different types of gameplay. Generally, if you get shot and the paintball breaks, you’re out. However, we play with medics who can get you back in the game. I used my vet connections to gather a lot of old gear so our medics look great with medic bags, fake IV lines, old fluid bags and stuff like that.

“The paintball guns are actually called paintball markers. They often have electronic triggers that can increase your rate of fire. They use compressed air to fire the paintballs at 280-300 fps [feet per second]. They are loaded with up to 300 paintballs and can fire as fast as 30 balls per second. Usually, the rate is 10 per second and there are more bullet-shaped paintballs for sniper mode. The single most important rule is to keep your mask on at all times. If you’re hot, in pain or vomiting, it doesn’t matter. Keep your mask on!

“Paintball allows me to get outdoors and do something I love with my mates. It’s competitive and fun and the community is just awesome. We all get along and respect each other. After an event, we’ll have a couple of bonfires and something to eat. No-one ever drinks before an event but it’s nice to relax, have a beer and relive the game afterwards. I love it.”

Eithan’s paintball group:

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